Leisure centres in Westminster are set to reopen to the public this Saturday (1 August) after being given the ‘green light’ by Government.
Moberly Sports Centre, Paddington Recreation Ground, Little Venice Sports Centre, the Porchester Centre, Seymour Leisure Centre, Marshall Street Leisure Centre and the Queen Mother Sports Centre which are managed by sports and leisure operator Everyone Active in partnership with Westminster City Council will reopen on Saturday 1 August for gym and group exercise classes. Centres with spa facilities will also be offering certain treatments from this date. The news comes after the leisure centres were forced to close for almost four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The swimming pool facilities at most centres will be reopening for lane swimming and clubs from Wednesday 5 August, with a lane booking system in place. Swimming lessons will also commence from Saturday 22 August. All customers will be communicated to directly regarding the details for reopening.
The Government has confirmed leisure centres are now safe to reopen, providing strict operational measures are in place. Everyone Active procedures will ensure social distancing is managed throughout the centres, with customers encouraged to book ahead online or through an app to ensure numbers are managed. During lockdown each facility has been deep cleaned and regular cleaning including using a disinfecting ‘fogging’ machine will be carried out throughout the day once the centres reopen. Full detail of the measures put in place to ensure customers remain safe while exercising can be found here.
Whilst the seven leisure centres across Westminster have been closed, Everyone Active launched a comprehensive package of online workouts for people to do whilst on lockdown, along with streaming live classes across its social media pages. It also pledged to donate half the cost of a membership to charity – The National Emergencies Trust – if customers continued to pay. As a result, we raised over £400k for those most in need during the pandemic.
The swimming pool facilities at most centres will also be reopening from 1 August. During lockdown, in partnership with Westminster City Council, there has been some essential maintenance and improvements works carried out. At Queen Mother Sports Centre the main and diving pools have been drained to allow a new outlet system to be installed and the circulation pipework has been fully remodelled to allow each pool to have a wholly independent filtration system. Unfortunately, these essential improvement works mean that the main and diving pools will remain closed until late August. Additionally, the planned refurbishment works are continuing at the main pool at Porchester Centre which will be completed by end of 2020.
Cllr Paul Swaddle, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Digital said: “The safety of our residents is our utmost priority and our teams are working hard to reopen safely this weekend. We know that getting and staying active is vital to our residents and our entire community’s physical and mental wellbeing. It has been a long time, but we can’t wait until we reopen and welcome back residents to our leisure centres and pools.
“Following the recent safe reopening of playgrounds and outdoor gyms, this is another key milestone in reopening Westminster. People may have to book ahead and be patient, but we hope that everyone can get back into their active routines whether that is swimming, group exercise classes, using the gym or any other of the many activities we offer.”
Andy Davison, Everyone Active’s Contract Manager, said: “We’re very much looking forward to reopening the leisure centres in Westminster and welcoming back residents and the local community. After being closed for nearly four months, this latest announcement from Government is the news the leisure industry has been eagerly awaiting. Giving people the opportunity to resume activity and exercise in their leisure centre will go a long way to maintaining the good health of residents and local communities.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the support we have received from customers during these unprecedented times, and we’re so grateful. Like many other industries, leisure has been greatly affected by the lockdown.
“Ensuring our colleagues and customers remain safe is our number one priority and we have carefully considered the strict measurements to ensure we adhere to the guidance. We will be contacting all customers directly over the coming days regarding the leisure centres reopening. We look forward to welcoming everyone back and thanking them for their patience.”
For more information: www.westminster.gov.uk/leisure-centres-westminster